Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2011

Western Conference Notes: Chivas deals with focus, Perk ready to go and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

The season is moving into its most grinding month, and there is some concern at Chivas USA that the Goats might be slipping due to a lack of concentration

The Rojiblancos have conceded the lead six times this season, and Saturday the club lost for the third match in a row.

U17's thrashed by Germans in Round of 16

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By CALEB SONNELAND

The United States U-17 National Team was dumped out of the U-17 World Cup by a lethal German side that showed little mercy in dismissing the States with a 4-0 win.

Despite registering only one less effort at goal (15) than the Germans (16), the United States couldn't capitalize on its chances and fell behind 3-0 going into the half thanks to goals from Koray Guenter (20'), Mitchell Weiser (40'), and Samed Yesil (43').

On the move again, De Rosario hopes to stick in D.C., push United to next level

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By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON -- The shock of Monday's trade that forced Dwayne De Rosario to change addresses for a second time this season hit just about everybody involved.

De Rosario seemed blindsided by the deal.

U.S. U-17s vs. Germany: Your Running Commentary

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The United States Under-17 national team advanced to the knockout stage of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup, but its first opponent in the next phase is perhaps the most impressive team from the group stage, Germany (4 p.m., ESPNU/ESPN3.com/Galavision).

Germany thrashed its Group E opponents by a combined score of 11-1 in three victories and stands in the United States' way of reaching the quarterfinals.

Mid-Day Ticker: Man. City after Arsenal starters, La Masia closes and more

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Manchester City bested Arsenal in the Premier League table last season, and now it's going after two of the Gunners' starters.

Reports from England claim that City has "nearly" signed French left back Gael Clichy and is going hard after French midfielder Samir Nasri by offering £20 million for his services.

Should Bradley stay or should he go?

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Just days after the U.S. men's national team's Gold Cup Final loss to Mexico, there is tangible unhappiness in some American fan circles about head coach Bob Bradley and whether he should stay on as head coach.

Bradley did guide the United States to the Gold Cup Final, but fell short in the quest to lift the trophy.

MLS East Notes: McDonald hoping to share wisdom, Le Toux wants to partner with Mwanga & more

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By THOMAS FLOYD

Amid the hype surrounding D.C. United's blockbuster acquisition of Dwayne De Rosario on Monday, the club's trade with San Jose for center back Brandon McDonald a few hours earlier largely flew under the radar.

SBI's Copa America Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

When Brazil won the last Copa America back in 2007, Lucas Moura was busy competing in the Under-15 Paulista State Championship. Four years later, the Sao Paulo winger is one of three supremely gifted youngsters being counted on to help Brazil capture another title, while restoring some luster to a soccer nation perceived by many around the globe to be in decline.

MLS Ticker: Arnaud sidelined, Tetteh loaned out and more

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Sporting Kansas City is on one of the hottest runs in MLS at the moment, but will need to continue its run without one of the team's key figures.

Midfielder Davy Arnaud is set to miss up to six weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery, Sporting KC announced on Wednesday.

Dempsey out for first leg of Fulham's UEFA Europa League qualifier

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Clint Dempsey will be getting somewhat of a breather this summer after all.

Fulham begins its UEFA Europa League campaign Thursday, but Dempsey will not be included in the squad for the club's first-round qualifier first leg with Faroe Islands club NSI Runavik (2:30 p.m.

Soolsma's PK leads Toronto FC over Whitecaps

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Nick Soolsma lined up his penalty kick in the 53rd minute and beat Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly to Soolsma's right for a goal.

It didn't count. Joao Plata was called for encroachment, necessitating a re-kick.Â

Unfazed, Soolsma went left from the spot this time in the 54th minute, and the ball got by Nolly again.

Evening Ticker: Cherundolo out four weeks, Brazil wins in WWC and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team won't be the only team to suffer from Steve Cherundolo's ankle injury.

Having picked up the knock in the Gold Cup final against Mexico last Saturday, Cherundolo has been ruled out for four weeks, meaning he will miss all of Hannover 96's preseason preparations.

TFC signing Frings, Koevermans

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Toronto FC has endured a rough season under new head coach Aron Winter, but the last-place team in the Eastern Conference still has playoff aspirations and took a step toward trying to realize those dreams with a pair of major signings.

TFC announced the signings of German midfielder Torsten Frings and Dutch striker Danny Koevermans today, making the pair the second and third Designated Players on Toronto's roster, along with Julian deGuzman.

SBI Live Q&A (Jan. 29th Edition)

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It's that time again everybody. Time to talk all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

If you want to talk U.S. men's national team, Major League Soccer, or maybe some European transfer news, feel free to do it here. Send your questions my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can over the course of the next few hours.

Fantasy MLS: Week 17

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

The Gold Cup is over and all players will be returning to their club teams this week from international duty. New York is especially glad to see their players return after being without their starting center backs for the duration of the tournament.

Mexico make big jump, USA slip two spots in latest FIFA World Rankings

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The Mexican national team received a major boost in the latest FIFA World Rankings, moving up 11 spots to No. 9 in the world on the strength of its Gold Cup triumph last week.

The United States slipped two places to 24th, behind the likes of Montenegro and Turkey, which both moved passed the Americans in the most recent rankings, released today.

SBI Live Q&A set for 1pm Today

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It is that time once again. Time to discuss all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A.

I will be hosting a new Live Q&A today at 1pm, so please feel free to join us as we discuss soccer (and some pop culture) topics. Get your questions ready and be ready to join me here at 1pm.

USL Pro Week 13: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

If the rest of the American Division isn't careful, Orlando City could wrap up the division title before the end of July.

A couple of weekend wins saw Orlando City move 10 points clear of the Richmond Kickers. Richmond does have three games in hand but a scoreless draw with FC New York highlights the early-season leaders inconsistent form.

FC Dallas squeaks by Orlando City, Crew falls in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Orlando City F.C. scored a 93rd minute equalizer in its U.S. Open Cup match against FC Dallas, but that wasn't the last goal scored in regulation.

FC Dallas defeated Orlando City, 3-2, in a Round of 16 match on Tuesday night courtesy of a 94th minute goal from Milton Rodriguez.

Fucito double downs Pumas in US Open Cup

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Upsets happen all the time in the US Open Cup. Â There just wasn't one on the cards for the Kitsap Pumas on Tuesday night.

The USL PDL side made the ferry ride across the Puget Sound to clash with the Seattle Sounders at a packed Starfire Sports complex in Tukwila, WA Tuesday night.

Red Bulls edge out FC New York to advance in USOC

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By MIKE NASTRI

FC New York gave the New York Red Bulls a scare, going up 1-0 in the second half, but the Red Bulls were up to task scoring two quick goals to advance to the in the US Open Cup.

After being largely invisble in the first half, Corey Hertzog and John Rooney both responded with second half goals to secure a spot in the quarterfinals against the Chicago Fire.

U.S. Open Cup Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

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The U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 kicks off tonight with eight MLS teams in action across the country.

There are some quality rivalries being sparked, such as the all-LA pre-quarterfinal and the Kitsap Pumas-Seattle Sounders tilt.

Here is a rundown of tonight's matches:

TONIGHT'S U.

Red Bulls vs. FC New York: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls have taken a break from their extended MLS road stand to return to Red Bull Arena tonight, where they will face off against FC New York in U.S. Open Cup action (8pm).

The Red Bulls are coming off a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire on Sunday, but also welcome back U.

Howard addresses post-Gold Cup comments

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U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Tim Howard caused a stir following Saturday's Gold Cup final loss to Mexico when he lashed out at CONCACAF for the format of the post-game ceremonies at the Rose Bowl, which were held mostly in Spanish.

Howard's comments were a reaction to what Howard felt was a slight by CONCACAF of the host nation, and he was clearly upset during his profanity-laced tirade.

Tuesday Ticker: Marseille eyes Drogba, Diego wants Premiership switch and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Didier Drogba could soon return to the club that paved the way for him to join Chelsea.

French club Olympique de Marseille is interested in signing Drogba, whose future with Chelsea is unclear after Andre Villas-Boas was appointed as the new manager of the club last week.

Onyewu signs three-year deal with Sporting CP

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By FRANCO PANIZO

If Oguchi Onyewu is going to revive his club career, he'll have to do so in Portugal.

Onyewu has transferred from AC Milan to Sporting CP, signing a three-year deal with the Portuguese club.

U.S. Women open World Cup with 2-0 win over North Korea

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Second-half goals from Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler gave the United States a 2-0 win over North Korea in both teams' opening match in the 2011 Women's World Cup.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up with five saves in a nervy opening half for the USA that ended scoreless.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Alvaro Saborio

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Real Salt Lake was in a slump, and needed someone to step up and lead the offense, and Alvaro Saborio showed up just in time.

The Costa Rican striker returned from Gold Cup duty in stylish fashion, scoring a pair of goals to help Real Salt Lake win its first game in four, earning SBI MLS Player of the Week honors in the process.

Eight Mexican players sent home from Copa America in prostitute scandal

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Eight members of the Mexican national team set to play in Copa America have been sent home after a scandal involving the players bringing prostitutes to their hotel rooms.

The eight players, one of which was Barcelona defender Jonathan Dos Santos, were accused of bringing prostitutes into their hotel in Quito, Ecuador.

Women's World Cup: USA vs. North Korea (Your Running Commentary)

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The U.S. Women's National Team begins its quest for the 2011 World Cup today against North Korea in the opening match for both teams (11:45am, ESPN).

The Americans will be led by strikers Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez, as well as midfielders Heather O'Reilly and Carli Lloyd, and will look to open with a win against a North Korean side that tied the United States in the last World Cup opening match.

European club eyeing Louisville star

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University of Louisville striker Colin Rolfe was one of the top attacking players in college soccer last fall, and is expected to be the focal point of the Cardinals attack in 2011.

That is if he doesn't head to Europe first.

Sources tell SBI that Rolfe has garnered significant interest from Norwegian first-division side Fredrikstad after impressing during a week-long training stint with the club earlier this month.

NASL Week 12: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For about 20 minutes the Atlanta Railhawks looked ready to provide the biggest shock of the NASL season.

An early goal gave last-placed Atlanta a surprising 1-0 lead over the Carolina Railhawks but then it all went wrong for the Silverbacks as Carolina scored five unanswered goals.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 15

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

It's no secret that West is the more dominant of Major League Soccer's two conferences. It's even more evident considering that the top four teams in the SBI MLS Power Rankings all hail from the Western Conference.

Los Angeles, FC Dallas, Seattle and Real Salt Lake occupy the top four spots in the latest rankings, respectively, after all added points to their totals this past week.

Report: Onyewu close to deal with Sporting Lisbon

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Oguchi Onyewu's tenuous club situation may be close to getting settled.

According to a report from Portuguese outlet A Bola, Onyewu is close to signing a deal with Portuguese power Sporting Lisbon.

Onyewu was loaned to FC Twente this past season from AC Milan, but the Dutch club did not act on its option to buy Onyewu's contract outright.

De Rosario traded to D.C. for McCarty

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D.C. United's day of wheeling and dealing just got a whole lot more interesting.

D.C. acquired Dwayne De Rosario from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for Dax McCarty in a straight-up trade on Monday.

It's the second time the 33-year-old De Rosario has been traded this season.

D.C. United acquires McDonald

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D.C. United has acquired centerback Brandon McDonald from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money, the club announced on Monday.

McDonald, 25, plays both holding midfielder and centerback, but he figures to plug into the heart of D.C.'s backline, which has been a bit of a rotating door this season.

Obama congratulates 2010 MLS Cup-champion Rapids at White House

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WASHINGTON -- The team that finally got over the hump earned their moment with the leader of the free world.

Clad in gray suits, the Colorado Rapids were honored in the East Room of the White House by President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon for winning the 2010 MLS Cup a little more than seven months ago at BMO Field in Toronto.

Neagle's winding road leads to Seattle

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By CALEB SONNELAND

The road to Major League Soccer is never an easy one, and Lamar Neagle will be the first person to say the same thing — from personal experience.

From juggling multiple jobs on top of playing with the Sounders just to make ends meet to snapping Real Salt Lake's two-year unbeaten run at home with an MLS Goal of the Week and currently starting for the Sounders, the Federal Way, Wash.

Mid-Day Ticker: de Gea on brink of United switch, Gunners willing to sell Cesc and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Manchester United are quickly going about the necessary transfer moves to retain the EPL title.

A week or so after securing up-and-coming English defender Phil Jones and days after Ashley Young's capture, the club has brought Atletico Madrid keeper David de Gea in for a medical at Old Trafford presumably before his signing.

Diskerud scores twice in Stabaek draw

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For U.S. men's national team fans praying to see a youth movement of attacking talent along the lines of what Mexico displayed during the Gold Cup, there's some hope emanating from Norway.

U.S. international midfielder Mikkel Diskerud scored twice in Stabaek's 3-3 draw with Tromso on Sunday, notching his first goals of the season.

Mexico 4, USMNT 2: The Highlights

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Juventus-Sporting Lisbon added to WFC

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This summer's World Football Challenge now involves 13 teams spanning seven countries.

Juventus will meet Sporting Lisbon at BMO Field in Toronto on July 23 in the latest match added to the tournament, organizers announced on Monday.

The list of teams now involved in the World Football Challenge includes Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Club America, Chivas de Guadalajara, Sporting Lisbon, Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps.

International Ticker: U.S. U-17s draw Germany, Spain U-21s win title and more

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Photo by Omar Martinez/ISIphotos.com

If the United States Under-17 national team is to progress in the knockout stage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, it will have to do so at the expense of the most impressive team of the tournament to date.

By virtue of its second-place finish in Group D, the U.

SBI's South American Weekend Rewind

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By DAVID MOSSE

For the first time in its 110-year history, River Plate has been relegated after being held to a 1-1 draw on Sunday in the second leg of a relegation playoff against Belgrano. It all started brightly for Los Millonarios, who were seeking to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, as Mariano Pavone found the back of the net in the opening minutes.

Mendoza records brace as Crew roll over Rapids

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Andres Mendoza is on a pretty good tear.

The big striker scored goals in each half off mistakes to lead an impressive performance by the Columbus Crew in its 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids Sunday night at Crew Stadium.

Mendoza's first goal came in the 18th minute.

Sounders bounce back after early goal, down Revs

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Seattle's unbeaten run spanned the month of June when the club downed the Revolution 2-1 thanks to goals from defender Tyson Wahl and DP Alvaro Fernandez at CenturyLink Field Sunday afternoon.

After initially falling behind, the Sounders fired back after defender Tyson Wahl curled a beautiful 34th minute free kick into the upper corner of Matt Reis's net, leaving the keeper stranded.

Pelosi sees red as U-17's advance as runners up in Group D

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By CALEB SONNELAND

While the rest of the USMNT fan base was busy mourning the recent loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final, the U-17 team was celebrating its progression in the Round of 16 at the U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

A scoreless draw against New Zealand was enough to see the United States finish Group D in second place behind Uzbekistan.

Is Mike Magee the best GK in MLS?

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Okay, it wasn't a serious question, but we just had to acknowledge Mike Magee's stunning turn as the Los Angeles Galaxy's emergency goalkeeper after a Donovan Ricketts injury and Josh Saunders red card left the Galaxy without a netminder.

Magee had no problem stepping up and volunteering for the job despite never having been a goalkeeper before, and all he did was make four saves and post a shutout to help the Galaxy win a game despite being a man down against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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With the Gold Cup in the rearview mirror, soccer fans have fewer viewing options in the coming days, but today there are still some quality MLS matches on the slate, as well as some intriguing Under-17 World Cup match-ups.

The New York Red Bulls  are in Chicago today to take on the Chicago Fire, while the Seattle Sounders look to keep their recent hot form going against struggling New England.

Bittersweet Moment for Adu in Return to the National Team

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By JONATHAN VERA

PASADENA, Calif – On a night when there were few bright spots for the U.S. men's national team in its Gold Cup Final loss to Mexico, perhaps the only true positive was the performance of Freddy Adu.

A surprising selection to the U.

"Dynamic" Mexico always felt comeback was within reach

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BY ADAM SERRANO

PASADENA, Calif-- Down 2-0 to the United States has been a common downfall for previous editions of the Mexican National Team.Â

However, this time Mexico was able to storm back scoring four unanswered goals and earning their second Gold Cup victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Rose Bowl.

Sporting rises in the East with win over Whitecaps

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By CALEB SONNELAND

For the first time in a month, Sporting Kansas City are no longer the basement dwellers of the East.

The 2-1 win came thanks to goals from DP Omar Bravo and Julio César later in the first half after initially falling behind off a Camilo Sanvezzo header in the 15th minute.

FC Dallas blasts Timbers 4-0

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

FC Dallas is as good a team as there is in MLS when things are clicking and a legitimate contender to return to the MLS Cup final at this point. Just ask the Portland Timbers.

FCD ruined former star Kenny Cooper's return to Pizza Hut Park with a 4-0 victory over Portland, featuring goals from Zach Loyd, George John, Brek Shea and Ruben Luna and a pair of corner-kick assists from Daniel Hernandez.

USA surrenders two-goal lead, falls to Mexico in thrilling Gold Cup final

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By FRANCO PANIZO

PASADENA, Calif. -Â The U.S. men's national team started its Gold Cup final almost as good as anyone could have imagined, but a two-goal lead to start the game wasn't enough against its most bitter rival.

The United States lost its second consecutive Gold Cup final to Mexico, falling 4-2Â in a thrilling match played in front of a sold out crowd of 93,420 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

USA vs. Mexico: Match Night Commentary

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The Final we all expected, and have all been waiting for, is here.

The United States and Mexico, arch-rivals and regional powers, face off tonight in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl (9pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Mexico enters riding a high-powered attack led by star striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, while the United States is led by a strong veteran nucleus including Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

Late Ching header earns Houston 2-2 draw

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - Brian Ching hasn't had much of a chance to contribute during his injury-plagued 2011 campaign. But the physical Houston Dynamo forward came through for his club Saturday at D.C. United, earning a penalty kick in the first half and scoring a late equalizer during his side's 2-2 draw at RFK Stadium.

USA vs. Mexico: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The big game is here.

The United States and Mexico, arch-rivals and regional powers, face off tonight in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl (9pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

Mexico enters riding a high-powered attack led by star striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, while the United States is led by a strong veteran nucleus including Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

Mexico ignoring the past ahead of Gold Cup Final

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BY ADAM SERRANO

To say that the 2011 Gold Cup has been a turbluent ride for the Mexican National Team may be something of an understatement.

Five players including three starters left the team after testing positive for the substance Clembuterol. All the while, forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has helped lead Mexico to victory time and time again while "El Tri" played to legions of loyal fans in their traveling tour across the United States.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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For most American soccer fans there is only one game to focus on this Soccer Saturday, but there is actually a pretty full slate of matches to enjoy.

The first American team doing battle today will be the U.S. Under-17 national team, which will look to qualify for the knockout rounds with a win against New Zealand today in the Under-17 World Cup.

USMNT Studio 90 previews the Gold Cup Final

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Bradley eager to play in first final with USMNT

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photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

PASADENA, Calif. - Since making his debut for the U.S. men's national team in May 2006, Michael Bradley has played in 58 matches at the international level. Bradley has played in numerous big-stage friendlies, World Cup qualifiers, Gold Cup and Confederations Cup games and World Cup matches.

USA determined to win Gold Cup and Confed Cup berth against Mexico

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photo by David Leah/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

PASADENA, Calif.- The U.S. men's national team knows all too well the benefits that come from winning the first of two Gold Cups in a World Cup cycle. But if the Americans are to repeat their performance from four years ago when they lifted the Gold Cup trophy, they'll have to beat an undefeated Mexican team that is considered to be one of the most talented in its history.

Guardado, Salcido still question marks for Gold Cup Final

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By JONATHAN VERA

PASADENA, Calif -- The Mexican National Team may be without two of its starters Saturday night in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final against the United States. Andres Guardado and Carlos Salcido have taken their share of knocks in the tournament and though they remain optimistic about playing in the highly-anticipated final, their availability is still a question mark.

MLS discipline ticker: Davies fined for dive, Soler's comments cost 10K and more

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Major League Soccer has fined D.C. United forward Charlie Davies $1,000 for his dive that earned a penalty in the waning minutes of United's 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake last weekend.

"The MLS Disciplinary Committee ruled that Charlie Davies intentionally deceived the officials and gained an unfair advantage which directly impacted the match," MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez said in a statement released by the league.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by David Leah/ISIphotos.com

Between the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the European U-21 championships and the FIFA Women's World Cup there's plenty of international soccer to satisfy the soccer fan's craving, but one matchup this weekend that's not in any of those competitions will have everybody's attention, at least in North America.

Happy 24th birthday, Lionel Messi

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Lionel Messi's list of accomplishments is breathtaking, and the scary thing is, he's far from done.

Between all of the goals (180 of them in seven seasons with Barcelona), assists, mazy runs, two World Player of the Year awards, three UEFA Champions League titles and a various array of other trophies, it's hard to believe that Messi is just 24.

MLS Week 15: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Don Feria/ISIphotos.comÂ

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By THOMAS FLOYD

An old-school California derby renews itself this weekend when Los Angeles and San Jose get together at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Although the Superclasico between the Galaxy and Chivas USA has gotten most of the state's rivalry headlines in recent years, the Los Angeles-San Jose feud has more history on its side.

Friday Ticker: Arsenal rejects latest Cesc bid, Ganso eyes Milan and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona has long flirted with the idea of acquiring midfielder Cesc Fabregas, but the Spanish club will have to increase its offer if it wishes to pry him away from Arsenal.

Barcelona had a $42.6 million bid for Fabregas rejected by Arsenal, which reporedly wants at least $70.

Western Conference Notes: John's Greek interest, Beckham out for SJ and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

Could another American be interested joining a different national team other than the United States?

FC Dallas defender George John recently trained with the Greek national team prior to Greece's friendly with Ecuador in New York earlier this month.

SBI's Women's World Cup preview

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

The United States women's national team kicks off its World Cup campaign on Tuesday in hopes of securing its first World Cup championship since 1999.

The U.S. women have never finished worse than third in any of the five Women's World Cups, but after the standard that was set by the teams of the past, it figures to be win or bust yet again for coach Pia Sundhage and her squad.

SBI Gold Cup Final Watch Party in NYC (Where will you be watching?)

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The 2011 Gold Cup Final is set for Saturday night at 9pm, and unless you're one of the lucky thousands who will fill the Rose Bowl to watch the USA take on Mexico, you will need to find a place to watch the game on Fox Soccer Channel.

If you will be in the New York City area on Saturday, SBI will be hosting a Gold Cup Final Watch Party at The Football Factory at Legends in Manhattan (6 W.

Neymar scores as Santos wins first Copa Libertadores title since 1963

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If the Copa Libertadores was Neymar's final perfomance for Santos, he certainly left on a high note.

The much-sought-after transfer target scored the opening goal to lead Santos to a 2-1 victory over Penarol Wednedsay night in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final.

Real Madrid's U.S. summer tour roster

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Real Madrid is bringing the cavalry for its summer tour of the United States.

Madrid has chosen a first-choice squad for its three games in the World Football Challenge, which includes the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.

The biggest omissions are Argentines Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, who will be participating in Copa America.

SBI's South American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

The news just keeps getting worse for River Plate, which lost 2-0 to Belgrano on Wednesday night in the first leg of their relegation playoff and might be forced to play the second leg in an empty stadium after its fans stormed the pitch in Cordoba.

NASL Week 12: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Worst meets first this weekend in the NASL as we approach the halfway point of the season.

The Atlanta Silverbacks have earned five points from 12 games, conceding 22 goals along the way. Conversely, the Carolina Railhawks have opened up an 11-point lead atop the NASL table and have scored 26 goals, nine more than the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Sutton error highlights wild night in Seattle

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Greg Sutton had a night to forget at CenturyLink Field — to put it lightly. Â

The New York goalkeeper not only allowed four goals on the night but gaffed in a bad way in the 78th to condemn his side to a 4-2 defeat in front of 46,065 fans in Seattle.

Donovan's World Cup Winner: One Year Later

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It was one of the biggest and most unforgettable goals in U.S. national team history. Landon Donovan's last-minute game-winning goal against Algeria at last summer's World Cup sent a soccer nation into a frenzy and sent the United States into the World Cup Round of 16.

It might seem like that goal just happened, but it has already been a year since that unforgettable finish.

USA and Mexico ready for third straight Gold Cup final

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photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON, Texas - As Honduras applied most of the pressure towards the end of regulation of its semifinal match against Mexico on Wednesday night, there was a growing sense that maybe the U.S. men's national team would not face its most bitter rival in the Gold Cup final afterall.

Sounders Mid-week Notes: Sounders face Kitsap Pumas in USOC, White "3 or 4 weeks away" and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

The Sounders will be a busy bunch this week with a dual match-up in the MLS and an Open Cup game on just a single day of rest. Â

Seattle will play host to the New York Red Bulls tonight (10pm EST) and the New England Revolution on Sunday (4pm EST) on top of welcoming the Kitsap Pumas to Starfire Sports Complex next Tuesday.

Mid-Day Ticker: Beasley moves to Puebla, United snag Young from Villa and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

DaMarcus Beasley is headed back across the Atlantic but south of the United States' border.

The United States' international has joined Mexican club Puebla, the club announced on its Twitter feed Wednesday. The move ends Beasley's brief stint with Hannover 96 in which he saw little playing time.

Eastern Conference Notes: D.C. duo talk injuries, SKC optimistic & more

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 Photograph by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

When the D.C. United front office rebuilt a lackluster roster that compiled a league-worst 6-20-4 record in 2010, no two offseason acquisitions were prized more than midfielder Dax McCarty and striker Charlie Davies.

Mistakes plague U.S. U-17s in 2-1 defeat to Uzbekistan

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            PHOTO BY ISIPHOTOS.COM

BY ADAM SERRANO

The United States run for glory at the U-17 World Cup hit a major bump in the road on Wednesday.

Wilmer Cabrera's boys were unable to mount a comeback against Uzbekistan, falling 2-1 against the Central Asian nation.

Who should the USA start vs. Mexico?

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With their ticket to the Gold Cup Final on Saturday booked, the U.S. men's national team can now focus on Mexico and selecting the team that will knock off their arch rival when the sides meet at the Rose Bowl.

Bob Bradley has not been afraid to shake things up, as we've seen by his decisions to sit Landon Donovan for two straight matches.

Must-See Goal: Goalkeeper Finish

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Adu delivers for USMNT after two-year absence

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON, Texas - Freddy Adu won't take it for granted. Not anymore.

After a near two-year hiatus, Adu made his return to the U.S. men's national team as second-half substitute in its Gold Cup semifinals match against Panama on Wednesday night at Reliant Stadium.

USA 1, Panama 0: The Highlights

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Offensive struggles continue for RSL, Chicago in scoreless draw

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By ANTHONY ZILIS

It's just been that kind of week for Real Salt Lake.

Jean Alexander was suspended early in the week for a tackle in Salt Lake's game against D.C. United last weekend, leaving Fabian Espindola as the only Salt Lake forward with a start under his belt with Alvaro Saborio and for Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire.

Philly dominates, but Sporting KC hangs on for scoreless draw

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Philadelphia Union had a golden opportunity for three points Wednesday against the last-place team in the MLS Eastern Conference at home, and did everything it could to get those three points, except score a goal.

Consequently, no three points.

USA reaches final with 1-0 win over Panama

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON, Texas - In the end, the U.S. men's national team got the last laugh against Panama.

The United States got vengeance for its group stage loss to Panama, defeating Los Canaleros, 1-0, in the first match of a semifinal doubleheader at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday night.

USA vs. Panama: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team has a chance for revenge and a chance for a place in the 2011 Gold Cup Final tonight when it takes on Panama in the first of two semifinal matches at Reliant Stadium in Houston (7pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The United States is riding high off an impressive 2-0 win against Jamaica in the quarters, and faces a fatigued but confident Panama side that needed penalty kicks to edge El Salvador in its quarterfinal match.

Behind the Crest: Second chances

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USA vs. Panama: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team can qualify for its fourth straight CONCACAF Gold Cup Final tonight (7pm, Fox Soccer Channel) by beating Panama in a rematch of the group stage match Panama won, 2-1, eleven days ago.

The Americans are coming in confident after a comprehensive 2-0 victory against Jamaica in the quarterfinals, while Panama comes in off a grueling penalty shootout win against El Salvador.

USA U-17s vs. Uzbekistan: Your Running Commentary

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The United States Under-17 national team looks to take a step closer to the knockout stage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup as at faces Uzbekistan in its second Group D game at Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico (4 p.m., ESPN3.com, Galavision).

The Americans routed the Czech Republic, 3-0, in their opening game, behind goals from Alejandro Guido, Esteban Rodriguez and Alfred Koroma.

Altidore out for remainder of Gold Cup

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U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore has been ruled out for the remainder of the Gold Cup with a left hamstring strain.

After undergoing an MRI on Tuesday in Houston, the test confirmed the strain, and he has been ruled out of action for the next 4-to-6 weeks.

Altidore suffered the injury running for a ball over the top in the opening minutes of the United States' 2-0 victory over Jamaica.

Mid-Day Ticker: Villas-Boas to manage Chelsea, Young closer to United and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chelsea is hoping to turn things around this season after a disappointing 2010-2011 campaign, and the club has turned to a 33-year-old coach to help accomplish that.

Andre Villas-Boas was named manager of Chelsea on Wednesday, making him the youngest manager in the Premier League.

Beasley on verge of Puebla deal

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

DaMarcus Beasley's next career stop appears to be in Mexico.

Beasley is on the verge of signing a two-year deal with Primera Division club Puebla, sources told SBI. Should Beasley sign there, it would add Mexico to a list of countries in which the speedy winger has played.

Copa Libertadores: Santos, Penarol set for final showdown in Sao Paulo

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By NESTOR F. SEBASTIAN

Two of South America's most storied clubs -- Brazil's Santos and Uruguay's Penarol -- face off in the return leg of the Copa Libertadores final tonight (8:30 p.m., Fox Sports en Espanol) after a goalless match last week at the famed Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In Reserve: Galaxy gets first win; Guy, Fagundez combine to lead Revs and more

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The Los Angeles Galaxy reserves are on the board.

Rookie Paolo Cardozo set up both Gregg Berhalter and Adam Cristman, and the Galaxy held on for its first MLS Reserve League victory, a 2-1 result over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Monday.

Cristman's goal in the 73rd minute from the top of the penalty area proved to be the game-winner after Whitecaps rookie Omar Salgado sliced the Vancouver deficit in half with a goal in the 77th minute.

USA seeking vengeance against Panama in Gold Cup semifinals

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Photo by Hunter Dorton/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON - The U.S. men's national team may be downplaying that its semifinal match against Panama is a chance at redemption, but that doesn't mean the Americans aren't hoping for a little payback.

Fantasy MLS: Week 16

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


By ALAN LEDBETTER

Many teams will be happy to have their players come back as the Gold Cup winds down. Only Mexico, Honduras, United States, and Panama remain in the tournament, and two teams will be going home after the semifinals are played on Wednesday.

U.S. Open Cup: Wilmington storms back, three derbies set for third round & more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

In the latest installment of the 2011 U.S. Open Cup, seven teams marched into the third round of the competition while one postponed match remains to be played to arrange matchups with eight of Major League Soccer's heavy hitters. Â

Drama ran rampant in North Carolina, as the Wilmington Hammerheads, having initially trailed the Charlotte Eagles, 2-0, midway through the second half, stormed from behind to take the game, 3-2, after extra time.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Panama?

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The U.S. men's national team can move into the 2011 Gold Cup Final with a win on Wednesday night, and whether that goal is reached will be determined in large part by the lineup decisions head coach Bob Bradley makes.

Bradley actually has some tough calls to make after seeing several players step up in the team's quarterfinal victory against Jamaica.

Bradley will not be returning to Aston Villa

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Michael Bradley's time with Aston Villa is over.

According to Bradley's agent, New York-based representative Ron Waxman, Bradley will not be returning to Aston Villa next season.

He spent a half season on loan with Villa, but played sparingly in a crowded central midfield under former Villa manager Gerard Houlier.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

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The Columbus Crew has turned to a few rookies to play key minutes, and after the club took some lumps early on, the youngsters are starting to come through.

Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram and Rich Balchan have all raised their levels of play, and their contributions (among others) in Columbus' win in Houston over the weekend, helped push the Crew all the way up to a tie for No.

SBI MLS Player of the Week: Fredy Montero

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

The Seattle Sounders had been waiting for Fredy Montero to do something special. On Saturday, that moment finally came.

Montero put the exclamation point on a strong overall performance with a 90th-minute goal off a superb free kick that lifted 10-man Seattle to a 1-0 victory at Toronto.

RSL's Alexandre suspended one game

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When Real Salt Lake forward Jean Alexandre came in for a studs-up challenge on D.C. United defender Jed Zayner in the 49th minute of Saturday's draw at Rio Tinto Stadium no foul was called, and no card was handed out. That hardly means that Alexandre escaped punishment from the league.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Bernardo Anor

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When the Columbus Crew used a third-round pick in January's MLS SuperDraft on South Florida midfielder Bernardo Anor, most wrote it off as a footnote on the day. Now, that pick could wind up being one of the steals of the draft.

Anor turned in a sparkling performance against the Houston Dynamo over the weekend, scoring a goal, assisting on another and drawing a second yellow card on Houston's Lovel Palmer to lift the Crew to a 2-0 victory.

Mid-Day Ticker: Villas-Boas leaves Porto, Enrique takes reins at Roma and more

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European coaching's Next Big Thing could be on his way back to Stamford Bridge.

Andre Villas-Boas, who coached Porto to an undefeated league season and capped the campaign with Portuguese Cup and UEFA Europa League titles, has resigned as manager of the Portuguese champions.

Sporting KC winger Smith goes on leave for remainder of MLS season

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Sporting Kansas City has had to cope without speedy winger Ryan Smith for much of the 2011 season, and it turns out it will have do so for the remainder of the campaign as well.

The team announced Tuesday that Smith will miss the rest of the season, returning home to England due to unspecified "family reasons.

Behind the Crest: Into the quarterfinals

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MLS Ticker: Qwest Field gets renamed, Fred returning to Australia and more

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Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

So long, Qwest Field. Hello, CenturyLink Field.

The home stadium for the Seattle Sounders has undergone a name change, with CenturyLink replacing Qwest. A press conference will be held on Thursday during which the new logo will be unveiled.

Mexico makes roster replacements

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

As Mexico prepares for its Gold Cup semifinal game against Honduras, it has reinforcements in tow.

Coach Jose Manuel de la Torre has called upon defenders Paul Aguilar (pictured above), Hector Reynoso and Hiram Mier to take the place of their suspended teammates for the remainder of the Gold Cup.

USL Pro Week 12: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With Antigua on hiatus and Orlando drawing with Wilmington, Richmond had an opportunity to mount a charge in the American Division.

Unfortunately for the Kickers, a 1-0 defeat to the Harrisburg City Islanders saw them fall to six points behind Orlando.

SBI Stoppage Time: A look back at USA-Jamaica

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SBI Stoppage Time: USA v. Jamaica Postgame Analysis from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Evening Ticker: Red Bulls GM hits out at officials, Rossi could stay at Villareal and more

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BY CALEB SONNELAND

MLS officials simply cannot escape the spotlight.Â

New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler is the most recent addition to a growing number of people voicing their concern over the level of officiating in the MLS.

NASL Week 11: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Carolina Railhawks' lead at the top of the NASL is now up to double digits thanks to Etienne Barbara's offensive dominance.

The Maltese striker scored once and provided two assists in Carolina's 3-1 victory over FC Tampa Bay in front of 4,000 fans in Cary.

Reserves step up as starters for USMNT

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 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - Fair or not, U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley has been much-maligned for his reluctance to deviate from a traditional 4-4-2 formation and the core player contingent that fills it.

Jones delivers star performance in USA win

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photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

WASHINGTON D.C. - Even before Jermaine Jones officially joined the U.S. men's national team, much was expected of him. An upgrade in technical ability, an enforcer, a never-ending motor, and nastiness that few in the pool could lay claim to were just some of the things Jones was expected to bring to the table.

SBI Live Q&A: June 20th Edition

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It is SBI Live Q&A time.

I've had a busy few months, with a lengthy trip to England and the Gold Cup following soon after, but the time has come to catch up with first Q&A in two months.

We have plenty to discuss. From the Gold Cup, to the summer transfer season, to Major League Soccer and even the end of the European season.

Mid-Day Ticker: Warner leaves FIFA, Barcelona set to sign Sanchez and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The dream of plenty of soccer fans has come true. Jack Warner has quit FIFA.

Currently suspended due to bribery allegations, Warner has resigned as a committee member of the sport's governing body and from his position as head of CONCACAF, FIFA said on Monday.

Latin American Weekend Rewind

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By DAVID MOSSE

It doesn't get much worse for one of the proudest clubs in South America, as River Plate lost 2-1 at home to Lanus on Saturday, finishing the season on a seven-match winless streak. Los Millonarios now face the ignonimity of a relegation playoff against Belgrano, and defeat would certainly represent the worst moment in River history.

USA 2, Jamaica 0: Match Highlights

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SBI Live Q&A Set for 1pm

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It has been a good while, but it is finally that time again. Time for us to discuss all things soccer in the latest SBI Live Q&A, which will kick off at 1pm today.

There is plenty to discuss after the two months since our last Q&A. If you want to talk Gold Cup, the end of the European club season, the summer transfer market or the current MLS season, we can talk about it all.

U.S. U-17s jump to a fast start in World Cup by dominating Czech Republic

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

The United States Under-17 team got off to a fast start in their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic Sunday night in Torreon, Mexico.

Goals from midfielders Alejandro Guido, Esteban Rodriguez and forward Alfred Koroma were the difference as the Americans opened group play with a win for the first time since 2005.

Panama beats El Salvador on penalties in wild affair, to face USA in semis

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By FRANCO PANIZO

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. men's national team will face Panama in the Gold Cup once again.

After playing to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes, Panama defeated El Salvador, 5-3, on penalty kicks in a crazy second game of Sunday night's quarterfinals doubleheader at RFK Stadium.

Donovan, Dempsey reflect on their whirlwind weekend

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 Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYDÂ

WASHINGTON - After the final whistle blew at RFK Stadium on Sunday and the U.S. national team had celebrated its 2-0 win over Jamaica in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, midfielder Landon Donovan took a moment to reflect on a whirlwind weekend that, he was happy to say, turned out memorable for all the right reasons.

USA reaches semifinals with convincing 2-0 victory

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By FRANCO PANIZO

WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. men's national team started its quarterfinal match against Jamaica without Landon Donovan, but that didn't seem to matter as the Americans put forth their most complete performance of the Gold Cup with a 2-0 win.

USA vs. Jamaica: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team takes on Jamaica today in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals at RFK Stadium (3pm, Fox Soccer Channel), with a place in Wednesday's semifinals awaiting the winner.

The United States come in off a disappointing group stage performance, and must now defeat a Jamaica side that finished unbeaten and unscored upon in group play.

Mexico squeaks by, Honduras wins on penalties in quarterfinals

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Mexico may have won its quarterfinals match, but it doesn't look as unbeatable as it did in the group stage.

El Tri advanced to the semifinals of the Gold Cup with a 2-1 comeback victory over Guatemala in front of a crowd of 78,807 at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

USMNT Spotlight: Behind the Crest

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Montero rescues 10-man Sounders in Toronto

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Fredy Montero was back to his goal-scoring ways when he whipped a 90th minute free kick into the upper corner of the Toronto net for the 1-0 win and all three points at BMO Field in Toronto.

Coming off their respective draws the week before, Toronto and Seattle were looking to bounce back with a win and get their campaigns back on track.

Revs and Fire split points in entertaining 1-1 draw

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution played better than the visiting Chicago Fire for the first 70 minutes of their match Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, but the hosts couldn't capitalize on their many chances, and were lucky to finish the match's last 20 minutes with a 1-1 draw intact.

SBI Stoppage Time: USA v. Jamaica Preview

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SBI Stoppage Time: USMNT v. Jamaica Preview from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


USMNT Notes: Bradley talks post-World Cup transition, scouts Jamaica & more

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 Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - One of the most intriguing subplots surrounding the U.S. national team's rocky Gold Cup road has been how coach Bob Bradley has balanced putting his team in position to win the regional crown while also catering to long-term goals.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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The two first places in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals will be filled tonight as Costa Rica takes on Honduras and unbeaten Mexico battles Guatemala.

The first pair of Gold Cup quarterfinals headline a busy night of soccer action, a night that includes the Los Angeles Galaxy's visit to the Colorado Rapids and D.

Mid-Day Ticker: Chelsea in talks with Lukaku, Modric wants out and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Chelsea may not be getting one of South America's top young talents, but they might land one of Europe's.

Chelsea has confirmed it is in talks with RSC Anderlecht stiker Roman Lukaku. The 18-year-old Belgian international has been held in high regard by Chelsea for some time, and the club is now in negotiations with him.

U.S. U-17s prepared to make impact at World Cup

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PHOTO BY ISIPHOTOS.COM

BY ADAM SERRANO

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team has the talent to bring the United States its first men's World Cup title, but maximizing that talent will be the major issue for head coach Wilmer Cabrera's men at the U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

SKC beats San Jose for first win at Livestrong Sporting Park

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By FRANCO PANIZO

C.J. Sapong scored the first ever MLS goal at Livestrong Sporting Park, and it gave Sporting Kansas City its first ever win inside its new home.

Sporting Kansas City defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, through a first-half goal from Sapong in front of a sold out crowd on Friday night.

Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Your Running Commentary

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It's Soccer Night in America, and Livestrong Sporting Park is on display yet again (8:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).

Sporting Kansas City is coming off its most impressive outing of the season, routing FC Dallas, 4-1, over the weekend. SKC will try and win consecutive games for the first time all season, but in order to do so it'll have to break the San Jose Earthquakes' six-game unbeaten run (4-0-2).

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

While one U.S. national team is fighting for a Gold Cup title, another one starts its quest for a World Cup crown.

The U.S. Under-17 men's national team begins its FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico as it takes on the Czech Republic on Sunday.

USMNT Training Notes: Absences not causing problems as USA looks ahead

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 Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - Emerging from a tumultuous group stage bruised and beaten but in the Gold Cup quarterfinals all the same, the U.S. national team has made one thing clear: The knockout stage is a fresh start.

MLS Week 14: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

The Gold Cup quarterfinals may grab most of the North American soccer world's attention this weekend, but Major League Soccer will do its best to keep up with a full slate of matches, including a clash between the reigning MLS Cup champions and Supporters' Shield winners.

Garber fines, suspends Timbers coach Spencer for criticizing referees

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

In his rant about poor officiating in his team's loss last weekend to the Colorado Rapids, Portland Timbers coach John Spencer alluded to the fact that he'd likely be disciplined by Major League Soccer for his comments. He was right.

FIFA allows Mexico to replace suspended players at CONCACAF Gold Cup

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Reinforcements should be on the way for Mexico's Gold Cup roster.

FIFA will allow Mexico to replace the five players who were suspended for a positive test for clenbuterol, according to the Associated Press.

Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Rodriguez, Edgar Duenas, Sinha and Christian Bermudez all tested positive for the substance on May 21, blaming the test results on contaminated meat.

Mid-Day Ticker: Premier League schedule released, Leonardo leaves Inter and more

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Manchester United will begin its Premier League title defense on the road at West Brom.

The Red Devils and the other 19 teams in the Premier League found out their 2011-2012 paths as the league released its schedule for the upcoming season on Friday.

United's schedule doesn't get any easier after its season opener, as the club faces Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea within the first five weeks.

Behind the Crest: Bouning Back

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USA enters quarterfinal match against tough Jamaica needing improvement

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as the Gold Cup goes, the U.S. men's national team is where it should be. But the road to get to the this point of the tournament has been far from perfect.

SBI's South American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

The last time Atletico Nacional and La Equidad met in the Colombian Clausura final back in 2007, Nacional notched a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the first leg and was able to claim the trophy with a scoreless draw at home. But El Verde faces a much different predicament on Saturday (7:30 p.

NASL Week 11: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A battle for second place takes center stage in the NASL this weekend as teams try to keep pace with the runaway Carolina Railhawks.

Carolina returns home to take on a Tampa Bay team that has had trouble finding the back of the net this season, scoring only 11 goals.

USMNT Spotlight: Team Dribbling Drill

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USMNT Spotlight: Team Dribbling Drill

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Western Conference Notebook: Beckham deals with travel, Danso expects to return early and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

David Beckham is once again earning a great deal of frequent flyer miles and it may finally be catching up to the LA Galaxy midfielder.

Beckham was back in his native England on Sunday and Monday on official duty with the London Olympic Committee.

Evening Ticker: Villa agree compensation for McLeish, Nolan completes West Ham switch and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

As if the local rivals needed any more animosity between them, Aston Villa is closing in on the capture of Birmingham City's former manager Alex McLeish after agreeing to pay the Blues £2 million in compensation for the head coach.

Having quit Birmingham City via email just four days ago, McLeish has been in talks with Villa over the last couple days and it appears the two sides are ready to make a deal for his services.

Kljestan reviving USMNT career at Gold Cup

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photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - For Sacha Kljestan, a year has made a world of difference.

Last summer, Kljestan was battling the disappointment of not having made the U.

Which American free agent would you like to see your MLS team land this summer?

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The end of the European club season always brings about major changes on team rosters, and also always leads to plenty of players hitting the open market. This summer is no different, and there are several Americans now available for potential moves to the United States.

Jonathan Spector, Marcus Hahnemann, DaMarcus Beasley and Eddie Johnson are all on the market now, and all four could help MLS teams if they chose to come home and play in Major League Soccer.

Mid-Day Ticker: Spector a free agent, Libertadores ends scoreless and more

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jonathan Spector has spent the last five years with West Ham United, but his time with the club appears to have come to a end.

Spector is officially a free agent after failing to agree to new a deal with West Ham, which will be attempting to gain promotion to the Premiership next season.

USMNT Spotlight: Jermaine Jones

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Who should the USMNT Start vs. Jamaica?

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With the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Gold Cup now upon us, the U.S. men's national team will need to find the right mix of players to help it navigate what will be a tough road to the Gold Cup Final, a road that begins on Sunday against Jamaica at RFK Stadium.

Though the United States only managed a 1-0 victory against a weak Guadeloupe side, there were enough promising signs from that group to make that starting lineup the foundation for the squad Bob Bradley will start against Jamaica.

Report: Dempsey, Donovan missing Gold Cup training to attend family weddings

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Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey will be major keys to the U.S. national team's chances of beating Jamaica in Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals, but both will be missing preparations for that match to attend family weddings.

As first reported by the Washington Post, Donovan and Dempsey will be traveling to California and Texas respectively to attend weddings for their sisters.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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The seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals isn't the only Massachusetts-Canada battle Wednedsay night.

The New England Revolution welcomes Toronto FC to Gillette Stadium (8 p.m., MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live) for the first of two home matches in MLS Week 14 with hopes of snapping a four-game losing streak.

SBI MLS Best XI: Week 13

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The past week in MLS was an outstanding one for amazing goals, and also a stellar week for standout forwards.

There were so many of them, in fact, that we had to find a way to squeeze the four best onto this week's SBI MLS Best XI.

How could you really choose from Eric Hassli and his stunning goals, to Alan Gordon's clutch brace, to Steven Lenhart hat-trick-plus-assist masterpiece, to Thierry Henry carrying an understrength and battered New York Red Bulls team to victory?

MNT in England: Jermaine Jones

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Chicago sells forward Puerari to Atlas

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Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com

With all of the Chicago Fire's recent forward acquisitions, there couldn't be room for everybody in Frank Klopas' stable of strikers, and Gaston Puerari is the odd man out.

The Fire sold Puerari, a Uruguayan forward acquired in the offseason, to Mexican club Atlas on Wednesday for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Bedoya making impact off U.S. bench

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - If things would have gone as planned, Alejandro Bedoya would still be playing in Sweden with Orebro SK.

Things did not go as planned, however.Â

With Benny Feilhaber suffering an ankle injury prior to the Gold Cup, Bedoya was summoned by U.

Eastern Conference Notes: Revs welcome homestand, Donovan praises LSP & more

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 Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

Having lost five straight games in all competitions while watching its MLS record fall to 3-7-4, the New England Revolution, it's safe to say, has fallen on hard times.

The Revolution has scored just three goals in its last eight games while allowing 14.

Mid-Day Ticker: Mexico players re-tested, Klinsmann on Algeria shortlist and more

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The five players on Mexico's Gold Cup roster who tested positive for clenbuterol were re-tested last Friday, and all five had their tests come up negative for the banned substance.

The Associated Press reports that, according to a statement released by the Mexican Football Federation, Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Rodriguez, Sinha, Edgar Duenas and Christian Bermudez have asked that a "B" test of the initial positive sample, taken on May 21, be conducted.

Fantasy MLS: Week 15

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Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com

By ALAN LEDBETTER

So much for that league-wide scoring drought.

Many players turned in big fantasy outputs last week as scoring picked back up in MLS.

For some teams, it was even hard to tell that stars were missing.

Gold Cup quarterfinal matchups set

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It was an easier journey for some more than others, but the eight teams to make it out of the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup now know their paths to Pasadena. Here are the dates, locations and times for the four quarterfinal matchups:

Saturday, New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.

USA vs. Guadeloupe: The Highlights

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Canada eliminated from Gold Cup after late equalizer clinches group for Panama

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

The Canadian men's national team's Gold Cup began with a goal conceded due to shaky goalkeeping, and it ended the same way.

Goalkeeper Milan Borjan couldn't control Blas Perez' rebound attempt on the goal line, and Luis Tejada got the final touch to score in the waning moments of the clubs' Group C finale, which ended in a 1-1 draw at Livestrong Sporting Park.

USA defeats Guadeloupe, to face Jamaica

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By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The U.S. men's national team entered its Group C finale against Guadeloupe needing a result in order to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament.

The Americans got just that, beating Guadeloupe, 1-0, at Livestrong Sporting Park.

USA vs. Guadeloupe: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team is in must-win mode tonight when it takes on Guadeloupe in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C action at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas (9pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Americans are looking to erase the memories of their loss to Panama, and must win tonight against Guadeloupe to advance to the Gold Cup quarterfinals.

USA vs. Guadeloupe: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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It's a win or else scenario for the U.S. men's national team tonight in CONCACAF Gold Cup action as the Americans take on Guadeloupe needing a victory to avoid an embarrassing tournament exit, or a brutal quarterfinal match-up against Mexico.

The United States needs a win or a draw tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park (9 p.

Bradley, Donovan preview Guadeloupe

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Tuesday Ticker: Gullit axed again, Aston Villa to interview McLeish and more

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Ruud Gullit's managing stint in Chechnya ended the same way it did in Los Angeles -- with him being shown the door after a brief time in charge.

Gullit was fired by Chechen club Terek Grozny on Tuesday, just five months after being hired as the club's manager.

He was given an ultimatum to win Tuesday's game by team management, but a last-minute goal doomed his team to a 1-0 loss and cost him his job.

MLS Notes: Danso out with shoulder injury, D.C. waives Brasesco and more

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If the Portland Timbers are to return their winning ways in their upcoming matches, they'll have to do so without centerback Futty Danso.

The Gambian defender has been ruled out for the next 2-to-4 weeks after injuring his shoulder in Saturday's loss to the Colorado Rapids.

Danso was hurt in the 23rd minute of the match when going for a header against Rapids forward Caleb Folan, and an MRI revealed that he escaped serious injury but will still need a spell on the sidelines.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 13

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There's a revolution at the bottom of the SBI MLS Power Rankings, in more ways than one.

The New England Revolution's fourth consecutive loss pits the club at No. 17, the lowest it's been all season. Other clubs near the bottom, namely Sporting Kansas City and Chicago, are on the way up after each secured four points this past week to make up some ground on the league leaders.

Impact secures BMO as jersey sponsor

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While some Major League Soccer teams are without jersey sponsors, the Montreal Impact won't have that problem heading into its inaugural season in the league in 2012.

The Impact announced a five-year sponsorship deal with the Bank of Montreal (BMO) on Tuesday, one that includes the BMO logo appearing on the front of the club's uniforms.

SBI MLS Rookie of the Week: Blake Brettschneider

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Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Although his team didn't come out ahead, D.C. United forward Blake Brettschneider still turned in another impressive performance to capture SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors.

Brettschneider scored his first league goal, taking a pass at the top of the area, turning and firing with his left foot to beat San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and level the score at 2-2 in the first half on Saturday.

Spencer takes issue with referees in aftermath of Timbers' loss to Rapids

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Photo by Patricia Giobetti/ISIphotos.com

In a short time as a head coach, Portland Timbers boss John Spencer has made it quite clear that he won't hide his feelings.

Weeks after having a war of words with Seattle coach Sigi Schmid, Spencer publicly criticized referee Abby Okulaja and his crew for their series of decisions in Portland's 1-0 loss to Colorado on Saturday.

Hassli vs. Zusi: Which goal was better?

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

There were a number of spectacular goals in MLS Week 13, and on any given week, the efforts by Brek Shea, Alan Gordon and Osvaldo Alonso, among others, might be in the running for Goal of the Week.

This past week, though, two strikes stood out above all others.

USMNT enters group-stage finale against Guadeloupe focusing on win, qualification

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - As far as the Gold Cup is concerned, the U.S. men's national team is entering uncharted territory.

The Americans have never needed a result in a Gold Cup group stage finale as badly as they will when they face Guadeloupe (9 p.

USL Pro Week 11: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

After a month without a win, the Richmond Kickers are back on track and breathing down Orlando's neck.

Richmond scored twice in the final minutes of the first half for a 2-0 victory over FC New York. It was Richmond's first victory since May 7, and the Kickers are within four points of Orlando City with two games in hand.

Gold Cup: Jamaica tops Group B, Guatemala through after routing Grenada

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Mexico isn't the only team enjoying a dominant Gold Cup.

Jamaica improved to 3-0-0 after a 1-0 victory over Group B challenger Honduras to clinch the top spot in the group Monday night at Red Bull Arena. Jamaica didn't concede a goal in the group stage and finished with a +7 goal differential.

MNT in England: Marcus Hahnemann

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Monday Ticker: Union sign Paunovic, Ochoa training with Seattle and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Philadelphia Union bolstered its attacking options with the signing of Serbian forward Veljko Paunovic on Monday.

Paunovic joins the Union having previously played for Partizan FK of the Serbian SuperLiga and in Spain's La Liga.

Must-See Video: FIFA 12

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SBI MLS Player of the Week: Steven Lenhart

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Last week, Steven Lenhart put in a performance good enough to win SBI MLS Player of the Week, but fell short. This week, Lenhart removed all doubt about deserving this week's honors as the best player in MLS this weekend.

Lenhart delivered a hat-trick to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 4-2 thrashing of D.

Mexico coasts in Group A, Costa Rica through on goal difference

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Mexico has emerged from group play as the team to beat at Gold Cup 2011.

After thumping El Salvador and Cuba by a score of 5-0, the Mexicans closed out Group A in style with a 4-1 win over a Costa Rican side that was seen by many as the second strongest side in the group.

Who will the USA start vs. Guadeloupe?

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As the United States prepares for what can be called a must-win game on Tuesday night against Guadeloupe, there are some serious questions about just what lineup Bob Bradley will turn to in a match the Americans can't afford to lose, and really can't afford to even tie.

After sticking with the same lineup against Panama that beat Canada, only having shockingly worse results, Bradley will have no choice but to make some lineup changes to A) get some fresh legs into the lineup and B) find a combination that performs better than the squad has performed over the course of the tournament.

Latin American Weekend Rewind

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By DAVID MOSSE

Velez Sarsfield took care of business on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Atletico Huracan, then watched on television as Lanus fell to Argentinos Juniors, handing the Clausura title to Ricardo Gareca's side with one round remaining. Velez was the best team throughout the competition and likely would have secured the trophy sooner had it not been pre-occupied with the Libertadores.

NASL Week 10: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The Atlanta Silverbacks may have failed in their bid to win their second straight game but there's no denial that fortunes are turning down South.

A late goal gave FC Tampa Bay a 3-2 victory over the Silverbacks. Atlanta came from behind twice before Aaron King scored in the 86th minute.

Sporting ends FC Dallas unbeaten run in style

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By CALEB SONNELAND

In one of the more eye-catching results of the weekend, Sporting Kansas City thumped FC Dallas 4-1 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday evening, ending the hosts' nine-game unbeaten streak.

Away from home, without its DP and eventually reduced to 10 men, Sporting put together one of the more impressive displays of the season in a game with a handful of equally impressive goals.

Subs Nazarit, Barouch lead Fire to 1-0 road win over Crew

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Three games into his stint as interim head coach, Frank Klopas seems like the right hire for the Chicago Fire.

Klopas, who replaced Carlos de los Cobos late last month following a slow start in which the club tallied nine points in 12 MLS games, made all the right moves in Sunday's 1-0 win for the Fire over the host Columbus Crew.

Gold Cup Group C set up for a nerve-wracking final day

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photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA - The results in Group C began as expected, but Panama's 2-1 upset win over the U.S. men's national team on Saturday night has made Tuesday a vital day for all four top teams in the group.

Must-See Commercial: Alaska Airlines

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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It is a relatively light day of soccer action today, but there are still some good match-ups to help you get your day's serving of quality soccer.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup resumes today, with Group A completing group play with regional powers Mexico and Costa Rica squaring off. Mexico has outscored opponents 10-0 so far in the tournament while Costa Rica is coming off scoring a stoppage time equalizer to tie El Salvador.

Panama 2, USA 1: Match Highlights

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Ex-Galaxy Gordon gets brace that gives Toronto FC late 2-2 draw with Galaxy

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                       Photo by  Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY Â ADAM SERRANO

There's nothing that Toronto FC forward Alan Gordon loves more than scoring against his former clubs.

Gordon scored two goals in the second half including a decisive game-tying goal in the 94th minute that gave Toronto FC just their second point away from the friendly confines of BMO Field.

Hassli wonder goal splits points in Seattle

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By CALEB SONNELAND

What started out as a tight match with only a handful of goal-scoring opportunities turned into a goal fest as the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps slugged out a 2-2 draw. Â

In the second installment of the Cascadia derby, the Vancouver Whitecaps made the trip down to Seattle to take on its nearest MLS rival at the Sounders' Qwest Field.

Must-See Goal: Eric Hassli

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LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC: Match Night Commentary

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The LA Galaxy are looking to return to their winning ways against a struggling Toronto FC side.

The Galaxy are without three of their key players as Brazilian midfielder Juninho is currently away in Brazil getting married, which adds to the absences of Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts, who are currently away on Gold Cup duty.

Poor start dooms USA in upset loss to Panama

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By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA - The U.S. men's national team entered its game on Saturday night with an unblemished record against Panama and in the all-time history of the group stages in the Gold Cup.

Both unbeaten records were broken at Raymond James Stadium after Panama held off a comeback effort from the United States and defeated the Americans, 2-1, in a Group C match played in front of 27,731 fans.

Lenhart hat trick leads San Jose to 4-2 win over D.C. United

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By THOMAS FLOYD

WASHINGTON - D.C. United coach Ben Olsen hasn't shied away from banking his team's fortunes on the plethora of young talent at his disposal. During Saturday's 4-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, United experienced the highs and, more often, the lows of such a philosophy.

USA vs. Panama: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team looks to secure its place in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals tonight with a win against Panama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Americans opened their tournament with a 2-0 win vs. Canada, but face a Panama side with a stronger attack and familiarity with the United States, having lost to the USA in each of the past three Gold Cups.

Real Salt Lake rallies for draw with Union

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Philadelphia Union were flying high at halftime, up by a goal in front of another sellout crowd at PPL Park on a warm day.Â

But it will look back on an offisde call and a number of missed chances in re-hashing the Union's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake Saturday afternoon.

USMNT Behind the Crest: From Game to Game

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Bradley discusses Panama, Mexico situation and more

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photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA - The U.S. men's national team practiced at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night, and following the training session head coach Bob Bradley spoke to the media about a variety of topics.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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It's a busy day in MLS and the international soccer front as the Gold Cup and European Under-21 Championships headline the day's soccer viewing offerings.

The Philadelphia Union will be looking to re-take first place in the Eastern Conference with a win against suddenly struggling Real Salt Lake, while D.

Jamaica tops Guatemala, Honduras mauls Grenada

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The fifth day of Gold Cup action took place at FIU Stadium in Miami, Florida on Friday night, and it saw one team qualify for the knockout stages while another put on a finishing clinic.

Jamaica stayed in first place of Group B and reached the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup for the first time since 2005 with a 2-0 win over Guatemala.

Henry leads Red Bulls to first victory since April

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The New York Red Bulls badly needed Thierry Henry the goal scorer to show up, but they also received a welcome boost from Henry the leader, as the French captain pushed, pleaded and propelled the short-handed Red Bulls to victory on a night when another late collapse seemed possible.

Red Bulls vs. Revolution: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls take on the New England Revolution tonight in the latest installment of their I-95 Derby at Red Bull Arena (8:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Red Bulls are mired in a six-match winless streak, and still smarting from giving up a stoppage time equalizer last week to the Columbus Crew.

Zakuani opens up to media for first time since injury

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By CALEB SONNELAND

TUKWILA, WA -- A month and a half after being on the receiving end of a leg-breaking tackle at the hands of Colorado's Brian Mullan, Seattle Sounders midfielder Steve Zakuani finally opened up about the experience of his horrific injury for the first time since the April 22nd game against the Rapids.

CONCACAF Gold Cup Matchday Five (Group B): Your Running Commentary

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Group B favorites Jamaica and Honduras each face one more test before their group-stage showdown, and both could use victories Friday night to feel a bit more secure ahead of that final bout.

Group-leading Jamaica takes on Guatemala (7 p.m., Telefutura) fresh off a 4-0 pasting of Grenada in its tournament opener.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

The CONCACAF Gold Cup and Major League Soccer take center stage this weekend, with a number of crucial battles happening on both fronts.

The United States takes on Panama Saturday night in a match that will likely propel the winner on to the knockout stage.

SBI Philadelphia Union Ticket Contest

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Attention Philadelphia Union fans. If you're hoping to go to Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake at PPL Park (4pm), but don't have tickets, today could be your lucky day.

SBI is giving away two tickets to the match in our latest Philadelphia Union MLS Ticket Contest of the season.

USMNT looking for win, Gold Cup quarterfinals qualification against Panama

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com


By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA -Â The U.S. men's national team has a history of dominance over Panama, but the Americans are entering their second Group C match in the CONCACAF Gold Cup knowing a win won't come easy.

Mid-Day Ticker: Martinez spurns Villa, Madrid appeals Mourinho ban and more

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Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has reportedly turned down an offer to take over for Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa, opting to remain at DW Stadium for the foreseeable future.

According to reports, Martinez met with Villa's American owner, Randy Lerner, who wanted the 37-year-old Spanish manager and former Wigan player to become his new manager.

MLS Week 13: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.comÂ


By THOMAS FLOYD

The Cascadia Cup renews itself Saturday night as another longtime rivalry gets the MLS treatment for the first time.

The Seattle Sounders will host their expansion foes from across the border in Vancouver at Qwest Field in FSC's second televised match of the weekend.

Should Bravo have been granted a PK?

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Thursday night's debut of Livestrong Sporting Park had almost everything.

Between Sporting Kansas City finally having a home game in its sparkling new stadium, a keeper sent off for deliberately handling the ball outside his own area, nine minutes of second-half stoppage time -- not to mention a pitch invader dressed as a cow -- the 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire wasn't a garden-variety scoreless draw.

SBI's South American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

Even Boca Juniors players expressed amazement this week at the predicament in which archrvials River Plate find themselves, fighting for top-flight survival with just two rounds remaining this season. Los Millonarios are now winless in five league games and no longer control their own destiny heading into Sunday's matchup with Estudiantes (3 p.

USMNT Spotlight: Michael Bradley

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Manchester United to host New York Cosmos for Scholes testimonial match

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To honor longtime great and recently retired Paul Scholes, Manchester United has scheduled a testimonial match for Aug. 5 at Old Trafford against the New York Cosmos.

That's right. The Cosmos team that has no senior roster and no league affiliation but has managed to make waves worldwide with its aggressive PR moves and star-studded front office.

Goodson, Ream form unique USA centerback tandem

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photos by ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA - Last November, Clarence Goodson and Tim Ream started together for the first time. The unveiling of the tandem came in a friendly they helped the U.S. team win 1-0 by blanking an experienced South Africa side playing at home.

NASL Week 10: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

The NASL season is 10 weeks old, and the dominance of the Carolina Railhawks is beginning to feel a bit repetitive.

Etienne Barbara was named "Player of the Month" for May in one of the easiest decisions the league has ever made. The Maltese striker scored seven goals and provided five assists in only five matches in May, leading the Railhawks to a 5-0-0 record during that time.

Sporting KC, Fire play to scoreless draw in LIVESTRONG Park opener

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

Sporting Kansas City was out to show that on this night of nights, there indeed was no place like home. In Kansas, at the 10th and newest soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer.

It didn't quite work out the way the club hoped.

Costa Rica comes back for draw, Mexico runs rampant against Cuba in Group A

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Charlotte, NC- Late heroics and an offensive clinic were on display at Bank of America Stadium as Costa Rica and El Salvador tied 1-1 and Mexico thrashed Cuba 5-0 in the second round of matches in Group A.

Kickoff was delayed for 36 minutes due to lightning in the Charlotte area.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire (Your Running Commentary)

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It is a historic night for soccer in the Midwest as Livestrong Sporting Park opens its doors for its first match, as Sporting Kansas City debuts its $200 million facility tonight against the Chicago Fire (10pm, ESPN2).

Sporting KC has yet to win a match since opening day, but finally returns home since enduring a lengthy road trip while its stadium was completed.

Gold Cup Matchday Four (Group A): Match Night Commentary

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Amid a cloud of controversy over five Mexican players being removed from Mexico's Gold Cup team due to failed drug tests, Gold Cup Group A continues to play tonight, with Costa Rica taking on El Salvador and Mexico facing Cuba.

Costa Rica is coming off a 5-0 thrashing of Cuba in its tournament opener, a result made more impressive by the fact it came without star striker Bryan Ruiz, who is expected to play tonight.

Western Conference Notes: Galaxy deal with Juninho absence, Timbers not overconfident and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The LA Galaxy looks set to lose another key player for Saturday's match against Toronto FC.

Galaxy midfielder Juninho will miss the club's match with Toronto FC on Saturday to get married in his native Brazil. Juninho is added to a list that includes Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts, who are on International duty.

Five Mexican Gold Cup players removed after failed drug tests

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Mexico's chances of repeating as Gold Cup champions just got a lot slimmer.

Starting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and four teammates were removed from the Mexican national team on Thursday afternoon after positive drug tests for the substance "Clenbuterol", a banned stimulant that can be used to ease the symptoms of chronic breathing disorders.

USMNT trains in Tampa, sets sights on Panama

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By FRANCO PANIZO

TAMPA, Fla. - The U.S. men's national team began preparations for its second Goup C match on a sunny and hot morning in Central Florida on Thursday, gearing up to play a Panama team it knows quite well.

The United States will battle Panama for the ninth team in the two teams' history, and eighth time in the last eight years.

USA Under-17 World Cup Roster announced

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The 21-player U.S. national team roster for the Under-17 World Cup has been finalized and it looks quite a bit like the squad that won the CONCACAF Under-17 Tournament back in February.

A total of 18 players from the CONCACAF Championship squad has been called up for the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico, including Mario Rodriguez, Alejandro Guido and Mobi Fehr to name a few.

Eastern Conference Notes: Columbus comeback win 'about time,' Arnaud ready to open Livestrong Sporting Park & more

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 Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

The Columbus Crew has made a nasty habit out of surrendering the opening goal, having done so in each of its last six contests. But on the plus side, Columbus has battled back to earn a draw three times during that stretch, against Seattle, Chivas USA and New York.

Who should the USMNT start vs. Panama?

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Coming off the U.S. men's national team's Gold Cup opening 2-0 win against Canada, head coach Bob Bradley has a quick turnaround before Saturday's Group C match-up against Panama. He will have just a few days to decide whether to stick with the lineup that beat Canada, or make some changes.

Mid-Day Ticker: Warner refusing to speak to FIFA, Crew's Williams suspended and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

It can only go from bad to worse for FIFA and its continued war against corruption.

Currently suspended FIFA vice president Jack Warner claims he has no intention of meeting with investigators looking into the bribery allegations surrounding the troubled organization.

Livestrong Park set to open tonight

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Livestrong Sporting Park, the newest soccer stadium in Major League Soccer, makes its debut tonight when Sporting Kansas City plays host to the Chicago Fire.

The $200 million facility is already receiving rave reviews and is being called, by some, as the best stadium in MLS.

Here is a look at Sporting Kansas City's new home:

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What do you think of Livestrong Sporting Park?

Must-See Goal: U-11 Scorpion Volley

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Crew topples RSL with late rally

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The Columbus Crew has made a habit of giving up early goals, but on Wednesday night, the Crew also continued a recent trend of delivering late-game heroics.

Down 1-0 to Real Salt Lake late in the second half, Columbus rallied with two late goals, including a deflected game-winner from Josh Gardner to post a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium on Wednesday night.

Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake: Your Running Commentary

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Two of the last three MLS Cup champions get together in a rematch of the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals at Crew Stadium, as Columbus hosts Real Salt Lake in a midweek MLS match (7:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live).

Both teams will look to get Week 13 started off on the right foot, as both have matches this weekend, too.

Must-See Ad: MLS stars are All In

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Sounders Notes: Cascadia derby looming; Zakuani shows at training and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

TUKWILA, Wash. -- The Seattle Sounders prepare for another Cascadia derby at Qwest Field this Saturday — only this one isn't going to carry the same venom as the previous one.

The Vancouver Whitecaps, with new manager Tom Soehn, will make their way down Washington's coast to put the Sounders' 3-2-2 home record to the test this Saturday (10:30 p.

MLS releases All-Star ballot

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And then there were 108.

MLS released its All-Star Game ballot Wednesday afternoon, after a group of 30 media members, spread across each MLS market, nominated six players per team. The top six leading vote-getters from each of the 18 teams make up the 108-person ballot.

Fans can vote for the "First XI," although the fans' selections won't necessarily all start the All-Star Game.

Which USMNT player stood out for you the most against Canada?

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.com

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The United States men's national team turned in a strong performance in its Gold Cup opener, topping North American foe Canada, 2-0.

While the team effort was impressive, and the victory an important one for a team focused on reclaiming regional bragging rights, a number of individuals stood out with their play.

Ronaldo's Brazil send-off match: The Highlights

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Brazilian legend Ronaldo suited up for the Selecao one final time on Tuesday, making a 15 minute cameo (and missing a couple of golden chances) at the end of the first half of Brazil's 1-0 victory over Romania in a friendly in Sao Paulo (skip to the 4:00 mark for Ronaldo's entrance):


Fantasy MLS: Week 14

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

This past week in Major League Soccer was very low scoring, as many teams struggled to find the back of the net with their stars missing on international duty.

With a couple of more games on the schedule than usual and some lopsided matchups, this week could provide a return to high-scoring ways.

Mid-Day Ticker: United closes in on Jones, Liverpool gets Henderson & more

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Manchester United has its centerback of the future.

United has a deal in place for Blackburn and England Under-21 centerback Phil Jones for £17 million that will bring him to Old Trafford this summer.

Jones, 19, reportedly passed on offers from Arsenal and Liverpool to join United, where he'll enter the season behind Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand while competing with Chris Smalling for positioning on the depth chart.

USA vs. Canada: The Highlights

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Altidore delivers in Gold Cup debut

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Photo by Rick Osentoski/ISIphotos.comÂ

By FRANCO PANIZO

DETROIT - Jozy Altidore entered the media press conference room following the U.S. men's national team's Gold Cup opener with Canada and was quickly received with the Man of the Match trophy, a small-sized silver replica of the actual Gold Cup.

Altidore, Dempsey score as USA opens Gold Cup with impressive 2-0 win

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By FRANCO PANIZO

DETROIT, Mi. - The U.S. men's national team may not have opened its Gold Cup campaign with a lopsided scoreline, but it did put forth a strong performance en route to earning three points against an archrival.

Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and Clint Dempsey netted in the second to give the Americans a 2-0 win over Canada at Ford Field on Tuesday.

USA vs. Canada: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team begins its quest to regain the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a Group C opening match against Canada at Ford Field tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Americans have struggled to get results in friendlies this year, but comes into the Gold Cup with a dominating track record in Gold Cup group play, having never lost a match.

USA vs. Canada: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The United States and Canada face off tonight (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) in their opening matches of the 2011 Gold Cup and the excitement surrounding the match is building.

The Americans come in as Gold Cup co-favorites with Mexico, and have never lost a Gold Cup group stage match.

Where will you be watching USA vs. Canada?

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Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

The United States opens its Gold Cup run in a few hours against North American foe Canada, as the two meet for the first time since a controversial matchup in the 2007 Gold Cup semifinals.

The tournament is of great importance not only to the national team, but also to its fans, who have been waiting patiently since last summer's World Cup for the USMNT to play in meaningful games with something on the line.

In Reserve: D.C. comes back on New England, trialist paces San Jose and more

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Joseph Ngwenya and Academy player Collin Martin scored in the final 21 minutes to seal D.C. United's two-goal comeback in the club's 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution in MLS Reserve League play on Tuesday.

Kenny Mansally scored twice for the Revs (0-2-1), doing so from the penalty spot and off a free kick, the latter of which put New England ahead, 2-0, in the 65th minute.

SBI Rookie of the Week: Rich Balchan

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In a season that has seen some other rookies garner more headlines, Columbus Crew utility man Rich Balchan has quietly put together one of the better rookie seasons in the league.

Balchan is a secret no more, not after his clutch last-minute equalizer in the Crew's 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.

USMNT Gold Cup training camp: Behind the scenes

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SBI MLS Player of the Week: Jean Alexandre

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With Alvaro Saborio away on international duty, Real Salt Lake needed a striker to step in and fill the void and Jean Alexandre did just that, registering a goal and assist in an RSL win. The performance made Alexandre the clear choice for SBI MLS Player of the Week honors.

Mid-Day Ticker: Fulham hires Jol, Lerner interviewing two for Villa job and more

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If Clint Dempsey is to remain at Fulham next season, his manager will be Martin Jol.

The former Tottenham, Hamburg and Ajax coach was hired by Fulham to replace Mark Hughes on Tuesday, making him the third coach in as many seasons at Craven Cottage.

Jol did not coach this past season, a year after stepping down from Ajax, and he last coached in the Premier League in 2007 with Spurs.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

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Just like last season, FC Dallas has embarked on an extended unbeaten run to shoot up the league standings.

The defending Western Conference champions haven't lost in nine games and find themselves second in both the Supporters' Shield standings and SBI MLS Power Rankings after another clean sheet victory and a sweet goal from Marvin Chavez.

USA and Canada ready to resume rivalry tonight

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

DETROIT, Mi. - It may not be United States-Mexico, but the U.S. men's national team's rivalry with Canada still holds significant value to the two teams. Both sides said as much on the eve of their first match in four years, a Gold Cup opener that will likely determine the winner of Group C and shape the rest of the tournament.

Jamaica rolls while Honduras settles for draw in Gold Cup action

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By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif – The Gold Cup came to the Home Depot Center Monday night as Jamaica trumped Grenada, 4-0, while Honduras drew against Guatemala despite being two men up.

Luton Shelton scored the opening goal for Jamaica in the 21st minute.

Who should the USA start vs. Canada?

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The U.S. men's national team kicks off its Gold Cup on Tuesday against Canada, and with the painful memory of Saturday's 4-0 friendly loss to Spain still fresh, there is plenty of speculation about just which 11 players Bob Bradley will turn to in the Gold Cup opener on Tuesday night in Detroit.

Bedoya officially replaces Feilhaber on Gold Cup roster

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Alejandro Bedoya has officially replaced Benny Feilhaber on the U.S. men's national team Gold Cup roster, U.S. Soccer announced Monday.

With Feilhaber sidelined for 3-6 weeks with an ankle injury, Bedoya will get a chance to play in his first tournament with the United States.

USL Pro Week 10: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

Orlando City took advantage of its rivals being on hiatus during the weekend to increase its lead in the ultra-competitive American Division to seven points.

Orlando scored three times in the second half to earn a comeback victory over a Wilmington team that was riding a four-game unbeaten streak.

How do you see the USMNT faring at the Gold Cup?

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

One day remains until the United States kicks off its CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign.

Bob Bradley and his charges have put a large emphasis on this tournament, with the hopes of winning it for a fifth time and clinching a spot at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Mid-Day Ticker: USWNT beats Mexico, Ancelotti to take a year off and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Well, at least one American national team won its friendly this weekend.

The U.S. women's national team won its final tune-up before the start of the World Cup, topping Mexico, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena on Sunday. Lauren Cheney scored a splendid goal from distance in second-half stoppage time to give the Americans the win.

South American Weekend Rewind: Stalemate in Rio de Janeiro and more

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By DAVID MOSSE

Flamengo fans bid farewell to the retiring Dejan Petkovic on Sunday, and they hoped that current star Ronaldinho could make the difference in a highly-anticipated clash with Corinthians. The former World Player of the Year showed flashes of brilliance, including smacking a shot off the post in the second half, but Flamengo was held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in a spirited contest.

USMNT Spotlight: Stuart Holden

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Mondaini leads Chivas USA past Portland

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by JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif – Marcos Mondaini's second-half goal was enough to earn Chivas USA the 1-0 win over the visiting Portland Timbers (5-4-2) at the Home Depot Center.

Chivas USA had a better showing than they did in their midweek clash against Vancouver.

Spain loss provides experience for young USMNT defenders

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - A 4-0 loss is never a good result for defender, but after the USMNT's 4-0 loss to Spain at Gillette Stadium Saturday, head coach Bob Bradley said the experience of playing against the reigning World Cup champions will help two of his young defenders in the long run.

SBI Stoppage Time: A Look Back at USA-Spain

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SBI Stoppage Time: USA v. Spain Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

SBI USMNT Spotlight: Tim Howard discusses Spain, Canada and more

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USMNT Spotlight: Tim Howard from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

USA changing gears quickly, focusing on Canada

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Spain was the most thorough defeat the U.S. men's national team has suffered since a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2009 Gold Cup final, and it is something the Americans are planning to quickly move on from.

SBI Stoppage Time: Gold Cup Preview

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SBI Stoppage Time: Gold Cup Preview from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It is a light day on the soccer calendar, but the kickoff of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup serves as the day's headlining event for American soccer fans looking for some soccer to watch.

Mexico takes on El Salvador tonight, while Costa Rica opens the tournament against Cuba in the Gold Cup's first set of matches.

Mexico and Costa Rica run rampant on Gold Cup opening night

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Gold Cup got underway with a doubleheader in Texas on Sunday, and ten combined goals were scored in blowout victories by two of the tournament favorites.

Costa Rica opened the Gold Cup with a 5-0 rout of Cuba. Los Ticos took an early lead as Marco Urena scored his first of two goals on the day in the seventh minute of the Group A match.

NASL Week 9: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With their closest challengers dropping points left and right, the Carolina Railhawks are threatening to pull away before the season even reaches the midway point.

Carolina scored twice within the mid-way through the second half to put the game out of FC Tampa Bay's reach, eventually winning 2-1.

South American Weekend Rewind: Stalemate in Rio de Janeiro and more

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By DAVID MOSSE

Flamengo fans bid farewell to the retiring Dejan Petkovic on Sunday, and they hoped that current star Ronaldinho could make the difference in a highly-anticipated clash with Corinthians. The former World Player of the Year showed flashes of brilliance, including smacking a shot off the post in the second half, but Flamengo was held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in a spirited contest.

NASL Week 9: A Look Back

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

With their closest challengers dropping points left and right, the Carolina Railhawks are threatening to pull away before the season even reaches the midway point.

Carolina scored twice within the mid-way through the second half to put the game out of FC Tampa Bay's reach, eventually winning 2-1.

Mexico and Costa Rica run rampant on Gold Cup opening night

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The Gold Cup got underway with a doubleheader in Texas on Sunday, and ten combined goals were scored in blowout victories by two of the tournament favorites.

Costa Rica opened the Gold Cup with a 5-0 rout of Cuba. The Ticos took an early lead as Marco Urena scored his first of two goals on the day in the seventh minute of the Group A match.

SBI Stoppage Time: Gold Cup Preview

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SBI Stoppage Time: Gold Cup Preview from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


USA changing gears quickly, focusing on Canada

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photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Spain was the most thorough defeat the U.S. men's national team has suffered since a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2009 Gold Cup final, and it is something the Americans are planning to quickly move on from.

SBI USMNT Spotlight: Tim Howard discusses Spain, Canada and more

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USMNT Spotlight: Tim Howard from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


SBI Stoppage Time: A Look Back at USA-Spain

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SBI Stoppage Time: USA v. Spain Wrap from Soccer By Ives on Vimeo.


Mondaini leads Chivas USA past Portland

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by JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif – Marcos Mondaini's second-half goal was enough to earn Chivas USA the 1-0 win over the visiting Portland Timbers (5-4-2) at the Home Depot Center.

Chivas USA had a better showing than they did in their midweek clash against Vancouver.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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It is a light day on the soccer calendar, but the kickoff of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup serves as the day's headlining event for American soccer fans looking for some soccer to watch.

Mexico takes on El Salvador tonight, while Costa Rica opens the tournament against Cuba in the Gold Cup's first set of matches.

Spain loss provides experience for young USMNT defenders

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - A 4-0 loss is never a good result for defender, but after the USMNT's 4-0 loss to Spain at Gillette Stadium Saturday, head coach Bob Bradley said the experience of playing against the reigning World Cup champions will help two of his young defenders in the long run.

Strong second half pushes Earthquakes to win over Dynamo

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The San Jose Earthquakes are trying to show they belong in the conversation as playoff contenders in the MLS Western Conference. Saturday's 2-0 win the Houston Dynamo put them right back into the mix, at least for the time being.

Steven Lenhart and Simon Dawkins scored second-half goals to break a halftime scoreless tie, and the Earthquakes raised their unbeaten streak to five games while the Dynamo are winless in the past five.

Fire tie Sounders in Klopas' coaching debut

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By ANTHONY ZILIS

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill -- Maybe Chicago Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas needed to do more than just make tweaks to his team, as he vowed earlier this week when he took over the position.

Whatever the case, the Fire had the same result under their new head coach as their old one as they tied the Seattle Sounders, 0-0, for their sixth draw in seven games.

RSL back to winning ways against Vancouver

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By CALEB SONNELAND

After having its home unbeaten run ended the week before by Seattle, Real Salt Lake recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps after goals Jean Alexandre and Fabian Espindola claimed all three points for the home side. Â

Alexandre put in a Man of the Match performance after turning from goal-scorer to provider for both goals on either side of the halftime whistle.

Chivas USA vs. Portland Timbers: Match Night Commentary

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There is a great deal to prove in tonight's match between the Portland Timbers and Chivas USA.

The Timbers are eager to improve a poor road record against a Chivas USA side that has MLS' worst home record. The Rojiblancos will be boosted tonight by the return of Marcos Mondaini, who returns from a four-game suspension after a tackle that injured Javier Morales.

Chavez strike effort enough to down Revs

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By CALEB SONNELAND

FC Dallas continued its impressive run of form as it claimed a 1-0 home victory over the New England Revolution thanks to a great goal from Marvin Chavez in the 69th minute.

The Honduran was on-hand to take a good pass from Fabian Castillo and blast the ball past goalkeeper Matt Reis at his near post after craftily skipping his way past rookie AJ Soares on the end line.

Sporting KC's marathon road trip ends with scoreless draw at TFC

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

   At long last, Sporting Kansas City is coming home to finally enjoy the comforts of its brand new home, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.Â

It had one more MLS road match left to play in its 10-game season-opening road tour Saturday night, however, and earned a point in an anti-climactic scoreless draw against Toronto FC.

Spain exacts revenge, spanks USA 4-0

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - If Spain wanted to get payback for the shocking loss it suffered against the U.S. men's national team in the 2009 Confederations Cup, it did just that on Saturday.

In front of a packed Gillette Stadium, Spain mauled the United States, 4-0.

USA vs. Spain: Match Day Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team takes on Spain today (4:30pm, ESPN) in the final tune-up before the Americans begin the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday against Canada.

The Americans will be fielding a young squad against the defending World Cup champions, with stars Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra out of the starting lineup.

USA vs. Spain: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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The U.S. men's national team takes on World Cup champions Spain today at Gillette Stadium (4:30pm, ESPN2) in a match that could be a sellout.

The Spaniards will be looking for a measure of revenge for their 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal loss to the United States. The Americans will be using the match as a final tune-up before the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which they kick off against Canada on Tuesday.

Davies remains confident of USMNT future despite missing Gold Cup

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Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif – The 23 man US National Team selection for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup is carved in stone, but amid all the striking talent, Charlie Davies is absent from the list.

In the fall of 2009 Davies experience a near fatal collision that was predicted to be a career ender for the striker.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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England's quest to qualify for the European Championships resumes today when the 'Three Lions' take on Switzerland in one of the day's premier match-ups.

The European Club season is over, but the day is loaded with international fixtures as well as a full slate of MLS matches. England-Swizerland leads the way in the Euro qualifiers, while the USA-Spain friendly will have the attention of American fans all over the country.

Gold Cup looms, but first USA must deal with world champions

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photo by Chris Brunskill/ISIphotos.com

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By FRANCO PANIZO

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The CONCACAF Gold Cup is just three days away, and would normally be the sole focus of a U.S. national team trying to win back its Gold Cup trophy, but with a high-profile friendly looming against Spain today (4:30pm, ESPN2), the Americans will need to face a World Cup champion team eager for revenge before taking care of Gold Cup business on Tuesday against Canada.

Donovan-less Galaxy "flat" in scoreless draw with D.C. United

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              PHOTO BY ISIPHOTOS.NET

BY ADAM SERRANO

The LA Galaxy and D.C. United limped to an uninspiring scoreless draw on Friday night in front of 20,030 at the Home Depot Center.Â

The Galaxy extended a seven game winning streak with the draw and took their shutout stream to 411 minutes.

LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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No Landon Donovan or Donovan Ricketts tonight, but the LA Galaxy will look to continue their four-game winning streak against D.C. United.Â

United are dealing with the absence of Dejan Jakovic and an injury to Dax McCarty, but will be eager to pick up a win on the road against a very difficult Los Angeles side.

This Weekend's Soccer on TV

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

International soccer picks up where European club soccer left off, as friendlies, European Championship qualifiers and the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup dominate the weekend schedule.

The obvious draw for United States soccer fans is the national team's friendly with world-champion Spain.

MLS Ticker: Timbers-Independiente, Henry still tops Castrol Index and more

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The Portland Timbers will host Argentine power Independiente in a friendly on July 26, the club announced on Friday.

Portland has already played Ajax in an international club friendly and has friendlies with Club America and West Brom also on its July slate.

Independiente, which won the 2010 Copa Sudamericana, is currently in fifth place in Argentina's Primera Division but is just five points behind first-place Velez Sarsfield.

My Profile of Clint Dempsey

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Clint Dempsey is ready to have a homecoming of sorts this weekend as he returns to Gillette Stadium for Saturday's USA-Spain friendly. The U.S. national team star returns to the town where his professional career began after completing what is easily the best season of his professional career.

SBI's staff Gold Cup picks

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As it turns out, the SBI staff is a pretty predictable bunch.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup gets underway on Sunday, and all of SBI's polled staffers are picking a USA-Mexico final. Recent history would dictate that to be the case, though, as the two rivals have reached the final in each of the last two Gold Cups.

Soccer Friday: Your Running Commentary

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While there will be plenty of international soccer to occupy you over the weekend, there's also a handful of important European Championship qualifiers taking place on Friday.

Germany-Austria and Belgium-Turkey are two Group A qualifiers that could potentially change the way the group's table looks going forward.

USMNT Spotlight: Clint Dempsey

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MLS Week 12: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

When D.C. United travels to play the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, a vintage rivalry sparked by recent controversy will be renewed.

The two early MLS powers, who met in the 1996 and 1999 MLS Cup finals, will clash for FSC's "Soccer Night in America" showdown, nearly two months after the teams' 1-1 draw in D.

Chicago looks to iron out issues, return to winning ways under Klopas' guidance

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By ANTHONY ZILIS

One thing is clear to captain Logan Pause and his Chicago Fire teammates throughout their nine-game winless streak – the Fire hasn't been outplayed by a wide margin.

"If you're getting broken down by another team who's playing great soccer, you can kind of hold your head up.

SBI's South American Weekend Preview

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By DAVID MOSSE

Ronaldinho will be forced to watch another international tournament from his living room this summer, as the former World Player of the Year failed to earn a spot in Brazil's preliminary squad for the Copa America. But Mano Menezes has left the door open for a future recall, and Ronaldinho has a great platform to show off his skills.

Donovan, Ream, Agudelo talk Gold Cup

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Friday Kickoff: Korean league deals with corruption, Backe named All-Star coach and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

It appears as if corruption is in style this summer.

Amidst the scandals surrounding FIFA and CONCACAF, K-League, South Korea's top soccer league, is dealing with match-fixing and bribery issues of its own. Six players belonging to K-League clubs have already been arrested for receiving money in exchange for trying to fix the outcomes of games, and a former star from the league linked to the scandal was found dead last week after an apparent suicide.

Penarol, Santos punch tickets to Copa Libertadores final

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Almost 50 years later, Penarol will get its chance at revenge.

The Uruguayan club received a crucial away goal from Matias Mier Thursday night that proved to be the difference in its Copa Libertadores semifinal matchup with Argentina's Velez Sarsfield. Velez' Santiago Silva missed a 76th-minute penalty that would've put his team through, as Penarol advanced, 2-2 on aggregate, to become the first Uruguayan side to advance to the final of the tournament since 1988.

NASL Week 9: A Look Ahead

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For this first time all season, there's a packed weekend schedule in the NASL with all eight teams in action.

The focus is on the Carolina Railhawks and whether their ever-increasing winning streak can continue. The Railhawks are unbeaten in eight games and have won a club-record five games in a row.

Evening Ticker: Earthquakes get Opara scare, Perovic out for season and more

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By FRANCO PANIZO

The San Jose Earthquakes lost Ike Opara to a season-ending foot injury last year, and they received a brief scare on Thursday when Opara picked up a knock to that same left foot.

Opara injured his foot during Thursday's training session, and limped off slowly under his own power.

Friedel signs with Tottenham

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American goalkeeper Brad Friedel will look to keep his English Premier League record consecutive matches streak going next season with Tottenham.

Fox Soccer reported on Thursday night that Friedel has reached a deal with Tottenham after his contract with Aston Villa expired.

A busy week for Americans Abroad

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There have been plenty of stories circulating this week, and particularly today, regarding Americans plying their trade abroad, and it's time to catch everyone up on the latest:

Michael Bradley has NOT completed a transfer to Aston Villa, despite reports out of Germany suggesting otherwise.

Injury puts Gold Cup in doubt for Feilhaber

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Four years ago, Benny Feilhaber was one of the main players responsible for helping the U.S. men's national team win the Gold Cup and secure passage to the Confederations Cup. It looks like he won't get a chance to repeat that this summer.

Feilhaber is likely to be out of action for at least a couple of weeks after suffering an ankle injury in New England's 1-0 loss to Los Angeles last Saturday, according to Revolution head coach Steve Nicol.

Western Conference Notes: 'Caps deal with change, Montero benched and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

The Tommy Soehn era in Vancouver started in the same way that the Teitur Thordarson ended -- with a 1-1 draw for the Whitecaps.Â

In his match, Soehn dealt with a number of the same challenges that plagued Thordarson, including an Eric Hassli red card and ineffective finishing.

A look back at the Portland-D.C. penalty fiasco

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By AVI CREDITOR

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid is in just his second MLS season, but he's already been involved in one of the more bizarre sequences the league has seen in recent years.

Hamid was twice called for being off his line after Portland was given a penalty kick in the second half of D.

Eastern Conference Notes: Davies, McCarty back, Fire coaching search underway and more

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 Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.comÂ

By THOMAS FLOYD

Picking up three points at league-leading Los Angeles on Friday will be a tough task for D.C. United, but seeing as the visitors are coming off a historic road result and getting both their captain and leading scorer back from injury for the contest, they might like their chances.

Mid-Day Ticker: Hughes walks out on Fulham, Van Nistelrooy joins Malaga and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

The Premier League managerial merry-go-round continues to spin as Mark Hughes has walked out on Fulham today.

Hughes' current Fulham deal expired last night, and despite the fact that the London club was looking to keep the Welshman signed on as manager, Hughes opted out and is currently without a job.

Canada ties Ecuador on busy Wednesday of friendlies

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By FRANCO PANIZO

In its final tune-up before its Gold Cup opener against the United States, Canada tied Ecuador, but it did so in controversial fashion.

Trailing 2-1 in injury time, Canada equalized through a goal from Tosaint Ricketts while several Ecuadorian players were busy arguing a foul call with the referee.

USMNT Spotlight: Life on Loan

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SBI MLS Player of the Month: Landon Donovan

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After a forgettable April, Landon Donovan emerged in May to remind us why he's considered the best player in Major League Soccer.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder a league high six goals in April, leading the Galaxy to a 4-1-2 record and commanding lead atop the Western Conference.

Thursday Kickoff: Gomez dealt to Estudiantes, Hahnemann waived and more

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American striker Herculez Gomez is on the move again after being dealt from Pachuca to Estudiantes Tecos on Wednesday.

Gomez was packaged with Braulio Luna in a deal that sent Tecos midfielder Mauro Cejas to Pachuca.

Gomez joined Pachuca after a Golden Boot-winning season with Puebla in 2010.

Whitecaps tie Chivas USA at Home Depot Center

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By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif -- Nick LaBrocca scored the opening goal for the Rojiblancos in the first minute of the second half. Moments later, Camilo and the visiting Whitecaps answered back for the equalizer that sent this second half showcase into a 1-1 draw at the Home Depot Center.

Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Match Night Commentary

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The Tom Soehn era in Vancouver starts tonight.

The newly appointed interim head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps leads the Whitecaps tonight against Chivas USA (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Chivas USA have struggled at home this season with a disappointing 1-3-1 record and will be missing four starters due to international call-ups and suspension.

Sounders Notes: Fire clash awaits, White returns and more

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By CALEB SONNELAND

Coming off a big victory over Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, Seattle is now preparing for a "resurgent" Chicago Fire side that changed managerial hands over the weekend. Â

Former Mexican National Team defender Carlos de los Cobos was ousted in favor of Frank Klopas, previously employed as the club's Technical Director, as the Fire prepare to play host to the Sounders.

USMNT Spotlight: Tim Howard in England

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MLS Week 11: A Look Back

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The 11th week of the MLS season brought us some major surprises, and also served to remind the league's 18 teams that there is no such thing as an un-winnable road trip.

Portland's Jeld-Wen Field and Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium were both considered impenetrable before last weekend, but both the Timbers and Real Salt Lake suffered shocking home defeats at the hands of D.

SBI MLS Team of the Month: FC Dallas

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When reigning MLS MVP David Ferreira went down with a broken ankle, 2010 Western Conference champion FC Dallas figured to struggle while finding a way to replace the catalyst for the team's attack.

Instead, the Red Stripes found their groove.

FC Dallas went 4-0-3 in the month of May to easily capture SBI's Team of the Month honors.

Opening rounds of Open Cup bracket set

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The U.S. Open Cup field of 40 is a game away from being set, but the pairings for the first two rounds of the tournament have been released.

The first round is slated for June 14, when 32 teams will being their battle for the right to face eight MLS sides in the Round of 16, which is scheduled for June 28.

Mid-Day Ticker: Blatter wins presidency, Allardyce takes West Ham helm & more

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Sepp Blatter will be the president of FIFA for the next four years.

Without a challenger on the ballot, the outcome was inevitable, but Blatter won the FIFA election on Wednesday, garnering 186 votes out of the 203 ballots that were cast.

"Our pyramid is intact, the base, the foundation is strong, and together we have four years to continue on our path and do our job," Blatter said upon his re-election at the FIFA Congress.

Who will the USA start vs. Spain?

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The U.S. men's national team will take on Spain on Saturday in a rematch of their 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal (won by the United States, 2-0), and with Spain fielding a strong squad, the Americans will need their strongest possible team to hope for another upset.

With the U.

Fantasy MLS: Week 13

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By ALAN LEDBETTER

The Gold Cup is upon us as many Major League Soccer stars leave their club teams to represent their country in the tournament.

With international call-ups affecting roster personnel for some MLS teams this weekend, it's important to know who won't be available for your roster selection.

FIFA Ticker: Blatter suggests WC voting changes, election not postponed & more

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Sepp Blatter, the self-proclaimed "captain" of "the FIFA ship," has announced that future World Cup hosts will be determined by a vote of the 208 FIFA member associations as opposed to the 24-man executive committee.

"In the future, the World Cup will be decided by the FIFA Congress," Blatter told the Congress in Zurich.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 11

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Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

As two of the league's top teams continue to drop points, two eager teams have pounced to climb their way up the SBI MLS Power Rankings ladder.

The Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas have replaced Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls in the Nos.